Data protection breaches committed by councils / local authorities – or the companies they outsource work to – can be unfortunately common. We advise and represent a large volume of people who have been the victim of a data breach caused by their local council, so we understand how bad they can be.
The serious council data protection breaches can cause a lot of problems for the victims, and given the nature of data that local authorities often hold – these type of breaches can be very sensitive indeed.
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has released the details of a prosecution and a police undertaking after private and sensitive information was intentionally leaked on social media platform Twitter.
William Godfrey from Kent had been in a relationship with a probation officer when he came into possession of a USB data stick containing sensitive data. He later tweeted some of the sensitive data on the USB device and threatened to release more data as well.
For their part, Surrey Police signed an undertaking to improve their data protection policies and procedures.
Hugh Grant joins the list of celebrities whose cases against Trinity Mirror Group have settled for phone hacking
Actor Hugh Grant is said to have received a six-figure settlement sum as a victim of the infamous phone-hacking scandal involving Trinity Mirror Group.
Mr Grant reportedly condemned members of the Mirror outlets involved, including Piers Morgan, who was in charge at the time when the hacking took place but denies knowledge or involvement in the shameful and illegal behaviour.
This remains one of the most infamous cases of the misuse of private information that was attained by hacking into victims’ phones and voice-mails.
We’ve initiated our action against Equifax for victims of the Equifax data protection breach here in the UK. We’re now acting for many people affected by the data protection breach, but you can still join the action if you have yet to do so.
We’re confident there is a case to answer, but at the same time, more and more is coming out about the breach, and the pressure is piling on the credit-reference agency at the centre of the huge cyber-hack from 2017.
We have helped and advised people in the past who were scammed out of thousands of pounds because they were called by fraudsters who were able to convince the victims they were calling from TalkTalk themselves.
The criminals likely gained their information from the TalkTalk cyber-hack and had enough details to be able to trick victims in to thinking they were the real deal, with names, addresses, numbers and even account info.
In what Hywel Dda University Health Board admitted to be the second data protection breach they have faced of this nature, yet another NHS worker has been caught accessing confidential medical records without a valid reason.
Instances of NHS workers accessing medical records when they have no reason or right to access them is a common problem at the moment. Most of the time, staff committing the breaches are accessing records for people they know out of nothing more than curiosity.
It’s not only NHS workers who are breaching data protection rules by accessing medical records when they shouldn’t be. There’s also a worrying trend of data being breached by the rogue actions of employees, and with data being so easily shared nowadays, we remain concerned.
With a huge amount of councils lacking proper mandatory data protection training, you could argue there are potentially thousands of employees out there who don’t know any better. This is not good enough, and these prosecutions should serve as stern warnings to both employers and employees about breaching data protection rights by illegally sharing data.
At first, Equifax indicated there were some 300,000 UK victims of the Equifax cyber-hack, which then grew to 400,000, and eventually almost 700,000.
Now, we know Equifax has sent out warning letters to more than 860,000 of their UK customers, and we expect our client numbers to grow as more people are potentially able to join our Equifax action and claim compensation.
That’s more than double the original estimation, but this kind of thing is not uncommon at all. In fact, it can be incredibly hard to know exactly how many people are affected by a cyber-hack initially, and in some cases, it can be hard to know the exact numbers at all.
New information from the Big Brother Watch privacy group suggests that local authorities are still failing to report data protection breaches. In May 2018, the new GDPR legislation will come into force and councils will have to abide by regulations that will make the reporting of many data protection breaches compulsory.
But, aside from the impact the new laws may have, we cannot avoid the underlying issue here. With estimations that UK councils have been hit by almost 100 million cyberattacks in the last five years, the fact of the matter is that sensitive data is vulnerable in their hands.
Hundreds of confidential files have been found abandoned in a former office that had recently been vacated by the organisation Change, Grow, Live (CGL).
The entirely avoidable data leak included highly-sensitive records and documents involving vulnerable adults and children; i.e. confidential data that should be completely secure and never left open to being accessed without appropriate authority.
According to reports, files had literally been left behind after CGL vacated the premises.